Friday, May 14, 2010


Today we stopped in Carlisle,PA when I finished my shift. After we made the run up to Lathrop,CA and delivered our next load picked up in Salinas,CA and we are bringing it to Florence,NJ. They gave us two and a half days to go 3000 miles. Yep, as you can guess, it wasn't happening!

We have ran so many loads lately back to back that were rush rush rush to get there. I put my foot down on this one and decided I wasn't going to waste fuel to make the appointment when that just means more money out of my pocket and less profit. So we told our FM that we would need another appointment. It looks like this receiver is open 24 hours because they told us basically to get there when we could based on the eta that I gave them. So that worked out.

Of course we ran into the usual problems getting out of California. Rush hour traffic meant that J made a whopping 180 miles in about 6 hours. That included getting pulled into a scale house for a Level 1 Inspection. Passed with flying colors. Unfortunately, J wasn't as lucky earlier in the day when a box truck decided to go 50 mph in front of us. J jumped out in the left center lane to go around him and got pulled over for it. :( In California trucks have to remain in the right two lanes. This was a 4 lane road and he got in the wrong lane and got a ticket for it. Not sure how much it is going to cost yet as the court makes that decision and mails us the info. And knowing how strapped California is for money, it probably isn't going to be cheap. But I didn't give him a hard time about it. He was mad enough at himself. Lesson learned.

After all of that, he only made it to Sacramento since we got loaded around 2000 hours. I took over and it took me another 4 hours to go the next 120 miles. You gotta love climbing Donner Pass when you are extremely heavy. I had also heard on the news that the Rockies were expecting a foot of snow. I figured I better check the weather and see what it was doing. If you have kept up with me for any length of time, you know that Wyoming is my nemesis and always gives me problems. Sure enough, it was snowing across the WHOLE state, I-80 was a mess all the way across and was closed between Laramie and Cheyenne again. Thankfully by the time J made it there they had cleared up. When I took over in Rawlins, I only had a little ice on the top of the mountail between Laramie and Cheyenne so I was pleased.

The rest of this trip has been uneventful. Hit a little rain just as J was leaving Carlisle,PA. Pretty nasty looking clouds according to the National Weather Service radar. I think we are about to come out of it though.

We have our next load already. After we deliver this we are heading over to Phillipsburg,NJ which is about 100 miles away and we are picking up a hazmat load going to Chandler,AZ. This works out really well for us since J is almost out of hours. He can pick it up tonight and get it scaled and then he can park. Then I will get up and cover around 550 miles tomorrow and J will get the afternoon off. That will give him a reset on his hours. Then Sunday we can both cover around 550 miles each and that will leave me around 250 miles or so to do Monday morning. piece of cake since our appointment is at 1000 Mountain time.

Now for the SUPER FUN information! We have some friends that are going on vacation in October for her 40th birthday. J's birthday is just 6 days before hers. They invited us to go along and after pricing flights (which are running about $300 less per person than what they usually pay) we decided what the heck and bought the tickets!

Well now you want to know where we are going, right? Roatan,Honduras!! The couple we are going with is Misty and Riaan. Riaan worked on Roatan for about 3.5 years as a dive instructor and they were married there. This is their old stomping grounds. So it is going to be a LOT of fun! We are going to stay for 7 nights. Did you know that rentals are REALLY REALLY cheap there? We can get a 1 bedroom cabin, complete with kitchen and all the dishes and everything for $175 for the WHOLE WEEK!! Check out to see some pics.

We will finish getting our dive certification and then spend most of the time diving while we are there. We have been before when we went on cruises but you don't have to be "certified" for that. Riaan is going to finish getting us our open water certification and we are going to have a blast blowing bubbles!

So there is the fun exciting part! Now I just have to seriously get in shape so I can put my bikini back on!!! At least I know have good motivation. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tornado east of Oklahoma City and Highway I-40 is shut down - Loves Truck Stop gone

Tornado east of Oklahoma City and Highway I-40 is shut down - Loves Truck Stop gone

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I actually have a day off! WooHoo!! Now what am I going to do with myself?? Let's see. Slept in? Check. Had breakfast? Check. Took a nap? Check. It has turned out to be a great morning so far!

While I was getting the truck washed yesterday our FM called with our next load. There wasn't any freight in SoCal so he had us pick up a load at the drop lot in Fontana that delivers today in Lathrop,CA at 1300 local. It was a short overnight run of about 350 miles. Since it doesn't deliver till this afternoon, that meant that J drove us up here and I get the day off.

I only had about 23 hours left on my 70. J got to reset his hours in Flint,MI so he has plenty. That worked out great for us. He is going to start about an hour early today and deliver this and then we are going to Salinas,CA to pick up our next load. This load will deliver in NJ on Friday and I would have been pushed on my clock to make that if I didn't get a restart.

I was looking at our next load and I am hoping that we can make it there on time. There is no pick-up time in Salinas, just today sometime after we deliver this. I sure hope that they get us loaded fast so that we can get out of there and on the road. It delivers in NJ, 2900 miles away, on Friday at 1500. So here is to hoping that we can get in and out of there quickly.

On a side note, there were so bad storms yesterday and a tornado hit the Love's Truck Stop in Oklahoma City,OK. I pray that no one was seriously hurt or injured. Our FM told us that we had a truck at the location that had all of the windows blown out of it. I sure hope the driver was somewhere safe. They said the tornado also ripped the roof off of the building. I am definitely keeping the people that were there in my thoughts and prayers.

I guess that is all for now. Have a great day!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Rancho Cucamonga,CA

Yesterday I couldn't get a signal after J started driving across Iowa, so you had to wait until today. So far this has been an uneventful trip aside from the wind that we have had to deal with. We picked up this FedEx load from Flint,MI and headed out with it around 0930 on Wednesday. We made good time and I got here about an hour early. That includes stopping for a nice Mother's Day lunch yesterday where I got to use real utensils and drink out of a glass that wasn't a "to go" cup. I also got wished a Happy Mother's day from the kids, J, my mom whom I also wished a Happy Mother's day, along with many well wishes from all my friends on FB.

On top of that, I was able to enjoy an absoultely beautiful drive across I-70 in Colorado. I started driving up on I-80 in Kearney,NE then cut down I-76 and hit I-70 in Denver. The I-80 and I-76 part is really boring, but once you hit I-70 and start the drive through the Rockies, it is simply breath taking. I took some pictures with my phone but for some reason I am having problems sending them to my e-mail. If I can get it to work, I will come back and post some pics.

Right now I am just sitting here waiting for them to get me unloaded. From here I am going to go get the trailer washed out and get the truck washed also. With all the storms and snow and salt we have been through lately, it looks like I have taken this truck mudding! I will let ya know where we are headed next. Until then.....

Friday, May 7, 2010

Grand Rapids,MI

Well, no, I didn't forget to post the last two days. See! I actually remembered, I just didn't post! You know we team drive and work 12 hour shifts. The past two days I have went to bed pretty much as soon as my shift was over. They have been LONG days, and I managed to barely cover a combined 640 miles. Slacking you say? Nay I say! It all has to do with the weather.

Now, I know this is May, because I have consulted my trusty calendar on my dash and double checked my BlackBerry and both are saying that it is indeed May. I am beginning to think that somehow Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming have all somehow misplaced the memo, that I am sure they have received, stating that it is Spring and not winter. Or as another driver calls that part of the country, Southern Canada.

We enjoyed a nice night off in a hotel to reset our hours and when we were available Monday afternoon, we got our next dispatch. We headed out to Yakima,WA to pick up a load of frozen french fries for Buffalo Wild Wings that was headed to Grand Rapids,MI. Wouldn't you know it that when I woke up that morning I saw on the local news that Snoqualmie Pass, just outside of Seattle on I-90, had received 7 inches of snow and they chain law was in effect. Now keep in mind, this was Tuesday, MAY 4th. Luckily by the time we got there, they had removed the chain restriction and it was just wet and slushie. Thank you Lord! From there J makes it to Yakima,WA and gets us loaded with no problems. He woke me up around 0430 and I signed the paperwork and headed out.

My route for that day was to take I-82 down to I-84 and head across Oregon and Idaho. Of course it started snowing in Oregon and that made for slooow going and I only managed to make it to Boise,ID a mere 311 miles from where I started. Not one of my best days out here, but hey, I can't control Mother Nature. I wake J up and he jokingly gives me a hard time about how I suck at this job :) and he heads out.

J did great and got across Idaho, through the top part of Utah and picked up I-80 and got me to Rawlins,WY. It was raining, but I figured if it was raining, that is better than snow. I take off and about 30 miles down the road it turns to snow. That is what I get for figuring, huh? I hit the rest area at Wagonhound (Yes, I couldn't make that name up) and decide to take a nap for an hour until the sun comes up so I can see better.

A short 50 minutes later I wake up and see that it is getting light outside so I take off again. The roads are mainly wet, with a little slush, but the important thing is that I can actually see the road now. I make it a short 100 miles further and stop at the Petro in Laramie for Smokey and I to both take a restroom break. Got that done and on the road again and before I get out of Laramie I start seeing a bunch of brake lights. Hmm Time to turn the CB on. About that time I see one of the WY DOT overhead signs advising that I-80 is shut down. Sure enough, I get another 1/4 mile up and they have the arms across the road shutting it down and traffic is turning around. Sheesh! There is a pass between Laramie and Cheyenne and aparently it was snowing pretty bad up on the hill and trucks couldn't make it up. They were spinning out and coming to a stop either blocking the lanes or actually wrecking. So, I turn around with the other traffic and head back to find a place to park.

Luckily they had just shut it down and there was plenty of room to park. When I took the exit I saw that the Pilot had a ton of room so I pulled in there instead. I talked to my mom on the phone for a few and checked the map to see if there was a way around. I was planning on taking US287 down around the south way but there was a guy on the CB that had just came that way and he said that way was completely ice covered. Okay then.

At that point I ran into the Wendy's to grab something to eat to kill some time. Finally we get word that they have opened the road. I was surprised to hear that they weren't advising chains. I guess once they got the trucks and wrecks removed that gave the salt shakers (plows with sand or salt) room to get up the hill and get the road in better condition. It worked because it was mainly slushie when I went over along with a convoy of other trucks that were waiting for it to open.

That was Thursday and I managed to get to Big Springs,NE. That was right at another 300 miles. I woke J up and he REALLY gave me a hard time about sucking at driving, in a joking manner of course, and then he headed out. When I was on my way to Big Springs I called our FM to see if we could get more time to deliver since we had been held up by the weather and the road closure. He got us until 1300 today and that worked good. I got there around noon which was still later than the original appointment of 1000 but earlier than the new appt time.

Today all I had to deal with was rain across Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Rain isn't so bad as long as it isn't a torrential downpour. The only thing I really hate about driving in the rain is when other trucks pass and they get back in the lane right in front of me. There is so much spray coming up from the back of their truck it makes it difficult to see. I usually slow down and let them get some distance on me. I just wish they would give me at least a truck length before coming back over, any little bit would help. When I pass someone, if no one is behind me, I give them probably two truck lenghts before I get over. They probably don't know why, but it is just my way of being nice so that it is easier to see.

Anywho, I delivered and am now sitting at the 76 St Auto/Truck Plaza on US131 at x75 here in Grand Rapids. Our next load picks up tomorrow morning at 0730 in Flint,MI and it is going to Rancho Cucamonga,CA (I probably spelled that wrong). It is a FedEx load. Doesn't pay great, but at least gets us in a good freight area for produce and it is a dry load so I won't have to pay for reefer fuel.

That is my happenings for today! What are all of you doing??

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I'M BACK!!!! Did you guys miss me? I feel like all I have been doing on here lately, when I post, is to apologize for not being on here. I told J yesterday that he just had to remind me to get on here and start blogging again. I really enjoy it. Things have been so crazy for us lately with other stuff that I just haven't been on here. I have gotten e-mails from some of you and Iwant you to know I really appreciate the concern. I sometimes forget that I actually have people that read this and follow me and may start to worry when I don't post. :) I will try to do better from here on out.

We have had so much going on that I don't even know where to begin. I guess I will start with what is going on now and work my way back. Right now we are in Ferndale,WA taking a night off. Last Monday we left Clackamas,OR and picked up in Yakima,WA. We delivered that load to Norfolk,VA and then went to Miami,FL and picked up a load that we delivered yesterday to Blaine,WA. That load was actually going to Canada but we dropped it with a driver that was able to go to Canada. So in this past week we have travelled 7500 miles. We were worn out when we delivered yesterday so we decided it was time for a night out of the truck. The last day we took a week off was two weeks ago, so we were overdue.

On our way up to Blaine,WA we had to drive through Nashville,TN and deal with the torrential rains that they were having this past week. I am sure that everyone has seen the news coverage of the flooding. I am also sure you saw the picture of I-24 in Antioch just south of Nashville where all the cars and trucks were submerged and where the portable building was floating down the road. What a mess! Well, we drove right through that. When we got to that part of I-24, traffic was stopped because of water over the road. Several cars had tried to cross and stalled out. Some of the drivers of the stalled vehicles got out and were helping each other push the cars out of the way. By this time, the water was about 3 feet deep and about 500 feet across. There were 3 other semi trucks in front of us. When they got one of the cars out of the way and cleared a path for us we decided to attempt to cross it. We only had two choices. Try to cross, or end up on the news with the other vehicles. The water was just rising too fast. So the first truck took off, then the second, then the third and then us. We were pushing water with our hood and water was coming up over the wheel welds. That is some deep water. Thank God that our trucks sit up higher and our engines are higher so we didn't stall out. We managed to make it through and then got the heck out of dodge. Looking back I wish that we had maybe stayed to help some of the other people. But then again, other people were out helping and there is no way that we could have known how bad it was going to get.

The next time we have off will be at the end of May. Our anniversary, thirteen years, is at the end of May. So we will spend a nice romantic week off working on our boat in Atlanta. LOL! We are hoping to get the top deck rebuilt and then get it comletely dried in and get an exterior put on. We aren't sure what to use on the exterior though. Ideally we would use the filon panels that are used on boats and RV's, but at a cost of close to $7500 that is out of the question. We are looking at aluminum because it is weatherproof and can be painted. Plus, I don't want seams on the exterior. We just need to find a manufacturer so that we can get sheets of aluminum that we can cut down to fit. But I am having a problem finding those places. What we need is something that we can get in any length but with a height of about 6 feet. Anyone have any suggestions?

I got to thinking that we have been driving now for three years. By the time that we finish our lease it will be four years. I can honestly say that we have enjoyed 99.9% of the time we have been driving. Of course that .01% of the time we didn't enjoy would have been the times that we have had to drive in the snow, throw chains, deal with extremely high winds and other extreme weather conditions. All in all, it has been a very enjoyable experience. But we are thinking that we will not drive any more once this lease is up. We are missing having a normal schedule, sleeping in the same bed and eating home cooking. We are looking at what our next adventure is going to be after this last year is over in the truck. We are currently looking at going to massage therapy school. We have been thinking of that for a while. We have decided that we really don't want to work for someone else after being our own boss the last few years. So our plan right now is to get the boat finished before our lease is up. Then we will go to school and then probably work for someone for maybe a year. At that point we are wanting to open our own spa. Something small with maybe 4-6 massage rooms. Our son's girlfriend is a massage therapist and she wants to come work for us. So we are hoping we can start a small spa and kind of keep it as a family business. We shall see, but that is what we are looking at now. We are actually really excited about it. :)

But, until then, I will continue to keep you updated with our adventures and I will continue to vent when need be! Like having to drive through the worst wind yesterday that I have driven through since we have been driving. They were even talking about it on the news this morning. So until I post next time, take care out there!